Virgin Atlantic Introduces Augmented Reality into Virtual Reality Training
Airlines have been increasingly embracing immersive technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality to enhance the digital experience for their customers. In one of the rare cases so far, the technologies are being used for internal operations. Virgin Atlantic has just introduced the use of augmented reality in its cabin crew training.
Working in concert with SITA, the information technology company that provides IT and telecommunications solutions to the airline industry, Virgin Atlantic has introduced an augmented reality technology that will allow its cabin crew to familiarize themselves with the interior of its new B787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Cabin crew is trained for various kinds of scenarios but the introduction of new fleet always poses a new set of challenges which might affect the quality of service, at least temporarily. The airline cabin crew has to be intimately familiar with the interior layout and facilities of the aircraft in order to be in the best position to assist passengers. In many cases, this is not always the case. A new aircraft is sometimes just as unfamiliar to the crew as it is to the passengers. This AR cabin crew training solution will shorten the learning curve for cabin crew, enabling them to study the layout and facilities and learn more about the aircraft even before they set foot on board.
The cabin crew training augmented reality app is available on iOS and allows the crew to walk through the aircraft and familiarize themselves with the interior surroundings of the airline’s B787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The app offers a classroom-style of training for cabin crew but also complements this by allowing the crew to see through the airplane’s cabin through a portal projection which they can walk through and get to learn more about their surroundings.
The augmented reality app simulates the real size of the interior of the B787 Dreamliner cabin thereby enabling the VA cabin crew to get an immersive real-life exposure of what their working environment will look and feel like. Not only does this shorten the training time, it also increases the spatial awareness of the crew. The airline is able to train its crew more efficiently but also in a fun and engaging manner at its London headquarters which proves quite effective in knowledge retention.
Augmented reality technology is increasingly seeing lots of innovative use-cases which are being embraced by the performance-obsessed airline industry. Some of the most common applications have included sales training, passenger seat allocation, operations and the general improvement in the customer experience. Airlines are working day and night to explore new frontiers of applications that will deliver the best performance and experience to their tech-savvy customers while giving the airlines a competitive edge. Many of these technologies have been developed in collaboration with SITA while some airlines have adopted a more in-house approach.
The Virgin Atlantic is just one of the “virgin” steps in exploration but in the future we are likely going to see very impressive virtual reality and augmented reality applications for the airline industry.